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“I’m Not A War Criminal”

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-PYJ Rejects Notorious War Criminal Characterization

y Mark N. Mengonfia

Nimba County Senator, Prince Y. Johnson has rejected constant characterization describing him as a notorious War Criminal.

The Nimba County statesman is one of the many persons who fought the 14 years civil unrest in Liberia which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, but does not want to be identified with his past.

Since the war ended in 2003,followed by the setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to hear from those who fought the war, names were listed and the Nimba County senator, Prince Y. Johnson name is amongst those many names mentioned in the report of the TRC. The Nimba County lawmaker is labeled as one of the war lords who led warring factions during the course of the civil in Liberia.

Senator Johnson speaking in Nimba County when he toured his One Hundred and Ten (110) class room-community college over the weekend, he said “people always calling me world notorious criminal. If  so, there is no need for the establishment of any court. They need to just build prisons for all those whose names are in the TRC’s Report”.

Dressed in his brown European suit with brown shoes, the Nimba lawmaker said it pains him being called criminal when he has not been convicted by any court.

As he walked and passed by the last store under his story building, the Nimba County Senator gave hope to his supporters and called on them to remain peaceful saying  “no war crimes court to come to Liberia”.

When he was quizzed what makes him so confident to say the possibility of the establishment of the court is impossible, Senator Johnson said, when he appeared before the TRC, he was informed that those who will give their full accounts of the civil war, they will get amnesty.

“You cannot have an amnesty law in a country and also have a War Crimes court in the same country” Senator Johnson added.

He also said that the Accra Peace accord signed by waring factions had a provision that disallows the establishment of war crimes court in Liberia.

He said if the TRC report was anything to go by, the Liberia Election Commission (LEC) would not have given him clearance to contest in a national election, the election he has contested and won twice.

The tone of the Senator changed when he was told that over 50 members of the House of Representatives have already signed the document calling for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in the Liberian.

In an angry tone he said,“They are making noise. You have people in the lower House who do not know the constitution, people who are ‘bobo’ (unable to speak) lawmakers and reading law upside down. They do not know what they are doing”.

Senator Johnson was quick to have said, “Tiawan Gongloe, Larry Yunquoi and all those who are calling for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes court are all STUPID.yes, they are all stupid. Those dam lawyers under Gongloe should have waited to see if the War Crime Court will be established, maybe we could have used some of them, but they went Kakata and sighed resolution. That’s why I said they are stupid”.

He went on to say, “They are on the wrong path of history”.

The walking interview ended when questions about the court ranged on from different angles. TNR

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